Sunday, December 28, 2014

J.O.Y. - 2015

I’m sure you’ve heard of people choosing a “word” at the start of each New Year. The word usually has something to do with what you hope for or want to be.  I had always wanted to pick a word, but would usually forget or decide the word I had chosen wasn’t good enough, or some other excuse. The same thing happens when I decide I’m going to start a journal, a diet, a cleaning/organizing plan…

A few months into 2013, I got my first word… BRAVE.  I had breast cancer.  I was going to need to be brave and hold onto my faith to get through it.  I soon learned that being brave had very little to do with what I could do, and had everything to do with what God could do.  God gave me unexpected strength.  He made me brave.

As 2014 rolled in, I was finishing my radiation treatments.  No more cancer!  My next word… SHINE.  I wanted to shine with the victory God had given me over breast cancer.  I wanted to shine with all that He had done in my life.  Matthew 5:14 in The Message says,

“You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world,”

                                  and that’s just what I was going to do.

It’s hard to shine all the time.  I sometimes wondered if I was really shinning at all.  Did my flaws and mistakes and short-comings dim that light?  I realized again that my “word” had very little to do with me and had everything to do with what God was doing in me.  He shines.  He is working and moving in my life and that light can’t be put out.  It doesn’t matter what stupid things I do, He’ll shine through.  That’s another word… GRACE.

With 2015 waiting in the wings, it’s time to pick another “word”.  Several words have come up in recent months and definitely have meaning to me for this time in my life…. HOPE, FAITH, PEACE, LOVE, BEAUTIFUL.  I went to The Word (aka. The Bible) to help narrow it down and I found this passage (emphasis mine):

“Be assured that from the first day we heard of you, we haven’t stopped praying for you, asking God to give you wise minds and spirits attuned to his will, and so acquire a thorough understanding of the ways in which God works. We pray that you’ll live well for the Master, making him proud of you as you work hard in his orchard. As you learn more and more how God works, you will learn how to do your work. We pray that you’ll have the strength to stick it out over the long haulnot the grim strength of gritting your teeth but the glory-strength God gives. It is strength that endures the unendurable and spills over into JOY, thanking the Father who makes us strong enough to take part in everything bright and beautiful that he has for us.” -Colossians 1:9-12, MSG

OY.  God had given me strength to endure (be brave). He let me shine his God-colors to the world and much more.  You can be sure that all of that spills over into JOY.

Each day I want to choose JOY.  I want to remember everything God has done for me and look forward with joy to all that he has in store.

“when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy.” James 1:2 NLT

And it’s not just about my joy.  I want to share joy and bring joy to the people around me.

“Everyone will share the story of your wonderful goodness                         
    they will sing with joy about your righteousness.” Psalm 145:7 NLT

Bottom line, I want my life to point back to Christ.  I want it to be undeniable whose I am and where my JOY comes from. So in 2015, I’m all about the JOY and I’m wishing the same for you!

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Italian Cream Soda

We’re on a TOTAL Italian Cream Soda kick at our house right now!!  They are SO easy to make and you can make them in pretty much any flavor! (Skip adding the cream for a “regular” Italian Soda.)
If you haven’t had one before, you’re gonna thank me when you try it!



2 ounces Italian syrup, any flavor (Vanilla, Cherry, Raspberry, Blackberry, Peach, etc. – I like cherry or blackberry!)

2 Tbsp half-and-half (we always have heavy cream in the fridge, so that’s what we use and I pretty much eyeball it.)

6 ounces club soda



Fill glass half to ¾ full with crushed ice.

Pour in flavored syrup.

Add club soda.

Finish with cream and stir.

Enjoy and you're welcome! ♥

Friday, February 21, 2014

She Gave Her Children Wings

I’m teaching a class!!!!  Here are the details:

She gave her children wings
(mixed media assemblage class)

Learn to make this bird’s nest/shadowbox.
A perfect way to display your favorite photograph of mom or grandma.

The class is $45.00
(includes instruction and kit).

Kit includes:
2 canvases
vintage paper
bird’s nest
vintage photo
feathers, buttons, lace, etc.
wire & nails
vintage hardware
(exact supplies may vary from sample)

You’ll bring:
a glue gun
wire snips
a hammer
optional: photo, buttons, bits, etc.

Saturday, April 12th, 2014
10:00AM – Noon
(possible second class at 12:30PM)

Madam Palooza
29980 Technology Drive #4, Murrieta, CA

Click the button below to register!

There are two other wonderful classes being offered that day too:

Hope to see you all there!!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

The BEST Granola EVER!!!

Last August, I went to a Bra-Vo Art Bra Workshop and our wonderful hostess, Pam Ingersoll, made us the most DELICIOUS granola I have EVER HAD IN MY ENTIRE LIFE!! I'm not kidding, it was SOOOOO GOOD!! I have been dreaming about that granola ever since, so I finally asked Pam for the recipe.  Turns out that her TOP SECRET recipe is actually Alton Brown's recipe.  That may be true, but this AMAZING, WONDERFUL, OH-SO-YUMMY granola will forever be known in my heart as "Pam's Granola"!

It's really easy to make! The hardest part is going into the kitchen to stir it every 15 minutes!  Pam bakes her granola a little longer than the recipe and she says she adds a little bit more of everything! Oh, and REAL maple syrup is a MUST!

Go ahead!  Make some for yourself!! You're gonna LOVE it!!



  • 3 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup slivered almonds
  • 1 cup cashews (I used Trader Joe's Raw Cashew Pieces.)
  • 3/4 cup shredded sweet coconut
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar (I may have added a bit more.)
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons maple syrup (I used real maple syrup!)
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup raisins (I used chopped, dried cherries instead.)

Preheat oven to 250 degrees F.
In a large bowl, combine the oats, nuts, coconut, and brown sugar.
In a separate bowl, combine maple syrup, oil, and salt. Combine both mixtures and pour onto 2 sheet pans. Cook for 1 hour and 15 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes to achieve an even color.
Remove from oven and transfer into a large bowl. Add raisins (or whatever dried fruit you want) and mix until evenly distributed.